This paper proposes an emphasis on the “soft power” approach and a holistic understanding of security in preventing violent extremism. The “hard power” approach, no doubt, is important, because it undergirds the “soft power” approach. However, the hard power approach, even at times deemed successful is not sustainable, in the long term as shown by the Philippine government’s hard power approach since the early 1990’s.

This brief explores the complex landscape of violent extremism in Sulu and the evolving challenge to security posed by the Abu Sayyaf Group.

This brief explores the synergistic approach of the National Action Plan for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (NAP-P/CVE) which implies enabling local communities as key actors. Empowering local communities against violent extremism means making available practical opportunities and tailored interventions that would allow them to take control of their decisions, actions and resources in relation to P/CVE.

Our first P/CVE Brief reviews and summarizes key findings and recommendations from four IAG researches to help shed light on the phenomenon of violent extremism.

IAG will begin implementing in March 2020 a project designed to empower vulnerable youth and communities against violent extremism in the southern Philippines.

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